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Sunday, May 16, 2021
<p>The City Commission held a meeting at City Hall on Monday afternoon to discuss issues like developing a plan for University Corners.</p>

The City Commission held a meeting at City Hall on Monday afternoon to discuss issues like developing a plan for University Corners.

City officials moved to halt a company’s application to handle the makeover planned for the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street during a City Commission meeting Monday.

The University Corners project is a proposed development that would cover three city blocks that currently sit vacant next to the Gator Wesley building.

University Development of Gainesville has placed a bid on the project and is requesting $48 million in reimbursement from the city over a 20-year period.

In the meeting, Community Redevelopment Agency spokeswoman Lynn Janowski said the company failed to submit all of the necessary information on its application to the agency, which handles bids on this project.

The latest version of the plan application includes 500 residential units, 142 hotel units, 78,330 square feet of retail space and 1,131 parking spaces.

The total project cost is estimated at $168 million.

The redevelopment agency received University Development of Gainesville’s first application in February and a revision in April.

“After that first application, we saw there was missing information,” Janowski said. “And that there were a number of reasons the application could’ve been declined.”

The company did not provide details on how it would meet the affordable housing requirement, failed to meet eligibility criteria and asked for more funding that it was eligible for.

The redevelopment agency recommended the City Commission reject the application because University Development could not give details about how much specific housing units would cost in the development.

“At the end of the day, we’re financing this thing,” said Commissioner Todd Chase. “They want a lot of money to go towards this project, so we should at a minimum have exactly the same information that the banks and the financiers have.”

The meeting lasted about five and a half hours.

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By the end, the commission had moved to decline University Development of Gainesville’s application.

Commissioner Lauren Poe said he wanted to keep working with the company and with the Community Redevelopment Agency to iron out more specifics in the proposal.

“I want to move towards a method where we can more clearly identify costs,” Poe said.

A version of this story ran on page 1 on 11/19/2013 under the headline "Company’s University Corners proposal nixed"

The City Commission held a meeting at City Hall on Monday afternoon to discuss issues like developing a plan for University Corners.

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